Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Land grab or for public good?

Writer: Gan Pei Ling
SHAH ALAM: Pakatan Rakyat state lawmakers yesterday rubbished Barisan Nasional (BN) claims that its component parties had obtained public land at unusually low prices for public good.

Sekinchan assemblyperson Ng Suee Lim said a 874 sq metre land owned by Umno in Sekinchan town (approved in 2003) has been developed into five three-storey shoplots.

He provided another land office document to show that a 4,370 sq metre plot obtained by Tanjung Karang Umno in 2002 was sold to  Bumi Utama Building Material Sdn Bhd.

“Where are the community halls and pre-schools built for the rakyat? (Selangor Umno information chief) Abdul Shukor (Idrus) was lying through his teeth,” said Ng at the state assembly lobby.

The DAP legislator had revealed on Tuesday that BN component parties bought 24 pieces of public land for only RM1 per sq ft when it was in power from 1999 to 2008 in Selangor. (See details on pg 2.)  

Abdul Shukor did not deny BN purchased the land at extremely low prices but claimed on Wednesday that it had done so to build community halls and kindergartens “for the people”.

But condominiums were built on a seven-acre land in Klang jointly owned by Kota Raja Umno and the Shah Alam City Council instead, according to Sri Muda assemblyperson Shuhaimi Shafiei.

“They had applied for the land to build a youth recreation centre. How did it become blocks of condominiums?” questioned the PKR lawmaker.

Umno, MCA, MIC and Gerakan had purchased two dozen plots of land totaling 33.5 acres for only about RM1.4 million, instead of the estimated market value of nearly RM300 million according to Ng.

Ng, who leads the select committee overseeing district and land offices, had given the media a detailed list of the land purchase including the plots’ registered owner, location, lot number and land size.

Out of the 24 pieces of land, 15 are registered under Umno, five under MCA, three under MIC and one under Gerakan.

Ng highlighted that six out of the 15 plots of land under Umno belonged to the Sungai Besar division, whose chief Dr Khir Toyo was then the Menteri Besar. 

He challenged the four BN component parties to return these former public lands in the Petaling, Klang, Sepang, Gombak, Hulu Langat, Kuala Selangor and Sabak Bernam districts to the state government.

The Selangor state assembly had passed a motion, tabled by Ng, in July to ban lawmakers and local councillors from purchasing state lands to prevent a repeat of similar incidents.

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